Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Tony McCoy draws blank with Church Field

Tony McCoy on Church Field before The Agetur UK Handicap Hurdle Race at Towcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire.

Tony McCoy was out of luck with the first of his two rides at Towcester as he searches for the victory that will secure his 4,000th career win over jumps.

The 18-times champion jockey was partnering Jonjo O'Neill-trained 3-1 favourite Church Field in the Agetur UK Handicap Hurdle and all looked to be going well for much of the two-mile-five-furlong journey.

McCoy positioned his mount just on the heels of the leaders and appeared to be travelling as well as any of his rivals leaving the back straight.

However, the 39-year-old rider got to work once straightened up for home and Church Field was unable to close on the leaders, eventually passing the post a well-beaten fifth.

Victory went to Jim Old's 71- shot Valid Point, partnered by Jason Maguire.

The huge Towcester crowd will now be banking on Mountain Tunes in the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle at 3.10pm to give McCoy his milestone winner.

McCoy said: "It was always going to be tough for him to keep going, but I got a good ride off him.

"Three out I thought I had a chance of winning, but I couldn't fault the horse. He always tries his hardest.

"I'll have another go in an hour's time and hopefully that will do better.

"It's surprising how many people are here. I didn't think there would be that many interested in what I'm doing, but hopefully it's good for racing and I'm in a very privileged position and it won't be too long before no-one wants to know, so I may as well enjoy it while I can."